Why do politicians send troops to foreign soil, to fight battles they rarely win? Is it old-fashioned imperialism tainted with a crusader complex? Or is the West a partisan for the helpless? The fall of the Soviet Union left the West aimless. With no conflicting dogma to reinforce its sense of justice the West assumed the role of global policeman - aid graduated from charitable to economic and, finally, military. Ideological struggle was replaced by a vague and confused concept of international ..
Now a major film starring George Cloooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balan, Jean Dujardin and Dimitri Leonidas. What if I told you that there was an epic story about World War II that has not been told, involving the most unlikely group of heroes? What if I told you there was a group of men on the front lines who didn't carry machine guns or drive tanks; a new kind of soldier, one charged with saving, not destroying. From caves to castles in a th..
An unprecedented portrait of Moses's inner world and perplexing character, by a distinguished biblical scholar No figure looms larger in Jewish culture than Moses, and few have stories more enigmatic. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, acclaimed for her many books on Jewish thought, turns her attention to Moses in this remarkably rich, evocative book. Drawing on a broad range of sources-literary as well as psychoanalytic, a wealth of classical Jewish texts alongside George Eliot, W. G. Sebald, and Werner..
The Greek Myths retold . . .
No one loves and quarrels, desires and deceives as boldly or brilliantly as Greek gods and goddesses.
In Stephen Fry's vivid retelling we gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great head of Zeus and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. We shiver when Pandora opens her jar of evil torments and watch with joy as the legendary love affair between Eros and Psyche unfolds.
The world's great fables, sagas and legends dramatically retold. Myths are the greatest stories ever told. Passed down over millennia, they are the templates for all our stories, with their eternal themes of creation and destruction, fate and cunning, heroism and cruelty, sensuality and war.
Retold here are nearly 200 myths - from Prometheus defying Zeus to create man to the destruction of Troy; and from valiant battles against Frost Giants and Cyclopes to the heroic quests for the Golden Fle..
After falling for one historical misconception too many, the time is now right to launch a spirited fightback. The moment has come to set the record straight, once and for all. Leading the way in this modern crusade comes Napoleon Wasn't Short and St Patrick Wasn't Irish, a lighthearted guide that reveals the many myths, fabrications and ambiguities found in the annals of world history. For example, Winston Churchill was not born in a ladies' toilet, Lucrezia Borgia was not an infamous poisoner ..
From the award-winning author of The Whisperers, Orlando Figes' Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia is a dazzling history of Russia's mighty culture. Orlando Figes' enthralling, richly evocative history has been heralded as a literary masterpiece on Russia, the lives of those who have shaped its culture, and the enduring spirit of a people.
'Wonderfully rich ...magnificent and compelling ...a delight to read' (Antony Beevor). 'A tour de force by the great storyteller of modern Russi..
The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector is a collection of insightful and influential classic and recent readings on the existence, forms and functions of the nonprofit sector—the sector that sits between the market and government. The book encompasses everything from Andrew Carnegie’s turn-of-the-century philosophy of philanthropy to the most recent writings by current scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines. Each part in the book opens with a framing essay by ..
'Europe where the sun dares scarce appearFor freezing meteors and congealed cold.' - Christopher MarloweIn this innovative and compelling work of environmental history, Philipp Blom chronicles the great climate crisis of the 1600s, a crisis that would transform the entire social and political fabric of Europe.While hints of a crisis appeared as early as the 1570s, by the end of the sixteenth century the temperature plummeted so drastically that Mediterranean harbours were covered with ice, birds..
A humbling, inspiring account of some of the real founders of modern day Special Forces soldiering' (Bear Grylls).
The Nazi Hunters is the incredible, hitherto untold story of the most secret chapter in the SAS's history. Officially, the world's most elite special forces unit was dissolved at the end of the Second World War, and not reactivated until the 1950s. Among their last actions was a disastrous commando raid into occupied France in 1944, which ended in the capture, torture and executi..
More than three thousand years ago a sculptor working in the royal city of Amarna carved a limestone bust of an Egyptian queen. The queen was Nefertiti, consort of the 'heretic pharaoh' Akhenaten. Plastered and painted, Nefertiti's bust depicted an extraordinarily beautiful woman. However, Akhenaten's reign was drawing to an end, and the royal family was soon to be written out of Egypt's official history. Not long after its creation the stone Nefertiti was locked in a storeroom and forgotten.In ..
Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II - and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than the Guardian's migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. This is Kingsley's unparalleled account of who these voyagers are.
It's about why they keep co..
In The New Threat renowned expert and prize-winning reporter Jason Burke provides the clearest and most comprehensive guide to Islamic militancy today.
From Syria to Somalia, from Libya to Indonesia, from Yemen to the capitals of Europe, Islamic militancy appears stronger, more widespread and more threatening than ever. ISIS and other groups, such as Boko Haram, together command significant military power, rule millions and control extensive territories. Elsewhere Al-Qaeda remains potent and ..
The Northmen's Fury tells the Viking story, from the first pinprick raids of the eighth century to the great armies that left their Scandinavian homelands to conquer larger parts of France, Britain and Ireland. It recounts the epic voyages that took them across the Atlantic to the icy fjords of Greenland and to North America over four centuries before Columbus and east to the great rivers of Russia and the riches of the Byzantine empire.
One summer's day in 793, death arrived from the sea. Th..
The violent and predatory society of Dark Age Scandinavia left a unique impact on the history of medieval Europe. From their chill northern fastness, Norse warriors, explorers and merchants raided, traded, and settled across wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.
THE VIKING CHRONICLES narrates their story region by region, focusing on places where key events were played out, from the sack of Lindisfarne in 793 to the murder in Iceland in 1..
Despite predictions of continuing secularisation, the twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of religious extremism and violence in the name of God.
In this powerful and timely book, Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, focusing on the historic tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Drawing on arguments from evolutionary psychology, game theory, history, philosophy, ethics and theology, Sacks shows how a ..
Acclaimed fantasy author China Miéville plunges us into the year the world was turned upside down
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, China Miéville tells the extraordinary story of this pivotal moment in history.
In February of 1917 Russia was a backwards, autocratic monarchy, mired in an unpopular war; by October, after not one but two revolutions, it had become the world’s first workers’ state, straining to be at th..
The rapid expansion of ISIS and its swathe of territorial gains across the Middle East have been headline news since 2013. Yet much media attention and analysis has been focussed upon the military exploits, brutal tactics and radicalisation methods employed by the group. While ISIS remains a relatively new phenomenon, it is important to consider the historical and local dynamics that have shaped the emergence of the group in the past decade. In this book Simon Mabon and Stephen Royle provide the..
Nations are not trapped by their pasts, but events that happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago continue to exert huge influence on present-day politics. If we are to understand the politics that we now take for granted, we need to understand its origins.
Francis Fukuyama examines the paths that different societies have taken to reach their current forms of political order. This book starts with the very beginning of mankind and comes right up to the eve of the French and American re..
How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times' (Washington Post).
Hannah Arendt's chilling analysis of the conditions that led to the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes is a warning from history about the fragility of freedom, exploring how propaganda, scapegoats, terror and political isolation all aided the slide towards total domination. 'A non-fiction bookend to Nineteen Eighty-Four' (The New York Times). 'The politi..
'A sweeping, brilliant overview of the history not only of our species but of the world ... Dartnell has a rare talent in being able to see the big picture – and explaining why it matters' PETER FRANKOPAN, author of The Silk RoadsWhen we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, mass migration and decisive wars. But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? How has our planet made us?As a species we are shaped by our environment. Geological forces drove our evolution in East Af..
The Ottoman chronicles recount that the first sultan, Osman, dreamt of the dynasty he would found - a tree, fully-formed, emerged from his navel, symbolising the vigour of his successors and the extent of their domains. This is the first book to tell the full story of the Ottoman dynasty that for six centuries held sway over territories stretching, at their greatest, from Hungary to the Persian Gulf, and from North Africa to the Caucasus. Understanding the realization of Osman's vision is essent..
An outstanding history ...one of the best writers on the First World War' (Simon Sebag Montefiore). Shortlisted for the Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature.
The Ottoman Endgame is the first, and definitive, single-volume history of the Ottoman empire's agonising war for survival. Beginning with Italy's invasion of Ottoman Tripoli in September 1911, the Empire was in a permanent state of emergency, with hardly a frontier not under direct threat. Assailed by enemies on all sides, ..
In Our Mathematical Universe, Max Tegmark, one of the most original physicists at work today, leads us on an astonishing journey to explore the mysteries uncovered by cosmology and to discover the nature of reality
Part-history of the cosmos, part-intellectual adventure, Our Mathematical Universe travels from the Big Bang to the distant future via parallel worlds, across every possible scale - from the sub-atomic to the intergalactic - showing how mathematics provides the answers to our quest..
Even at the high noon of Europe's empire-building China managed to be one of the handful of countries not to succumb. Invaded, humiliated and looted, China nonetheless kept its sovereignty. Robert Bickers' major new book is the first to describe fully what has proved to be one of the modern era's most important stories: the long, often agonizing process by which the Chinese had by the end of the twentieth century regained control of their own country.
Out of China uses a brilliant array ..
From the second century AD to the conversion of the first Christian emperor, Constantine, Robin Lane Fox's Pagans and Christians in the Mediterranean World gives a fascinating new perspective on an extraordinary era. The transition from pagan to Christian in the ancient Mediterranean world was a process whose effects we still live with today. How did this monumental conversion come about? How did Christianity compare and compete with the pagan gods in the Roman Empire?
This scholarly work, fr..
'Both a saga of tragedies and a detective story... Pale Rider is not just an excavation but a reimagining of the past' Guardian
With a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish flu of 1918–1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the twentieth century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War I.
In Pale Rider, Laura Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pande..
This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.
Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha ..
Winner of the Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Prize "The best large-scale synthesis in any language of what we currently know and understand about this multidimensional, cataclysmic conflict." -Richard J. Evans, Times Literary Supplement In this monumental history of the First World War, Germany's leading historian of the period offers a dramatic account of its origins, course, and consequences. Joern Leonhard treats the clash of arms with a sure feel for grand strategy. He captures the slow attrition,..
Between January and July 1919, after the war to end all wars, men and women from all over the world converged on Paris for the Peace Conference. At its heart were the leaders of the three great powers - Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau. Kings, prime ministers and foreign ministers with their crowds of advisers rubbed shoulders with journalists and lobbyists for a hundred causes - from Armenian independence to women's rights.
Everyone had business in Paris that year - T.E. Lawrence,..
Paul Kennedy's The Parliament of Man: The United Nations and the Quest for World Government is the extraordinary story of the UN - its creation, the threats it has faced, and the possibilities it holds for the future. Can the world be governed by agreement rather than conflict? In 1945 the world's most powerful nation states came together to 'save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and reaffirm faith in the fundamental human rights'. Over sixty years later, the United Nations still d..
The International Bestseller
‘Barney White-Spunner’s book stands out for its judicious and unsparing look at events from a British perspective.’ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times Review
'This book is at its most powerful in its month-by-month narrative of how Partition tore apart northern and eastern India, with the new state of Pakistan carved out of communities who had lived together for the past millennium.' Zareer Masani BBC History Magazine
‘A highly readable account . . .’ Times Lit..
In Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Jim al-Khalili celebrates the forgotten pioneers who helped shape our understanding of the world.
For over 700 years the international language of science was Arabic. Surveying the golden age of Arabic science, Jim Al-Khalili reintroduces such figures as the Iraqi physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who practised the modern scientific method over half a century before Bacon; al-Khwarizmi, the greatest mathematician of the medieval world; and Abu Rayhan ..
The Pax Romana is famous for having provided a remarkable period of peace and stability, rarely seen before or since. Yet the Romans were first and foremost conquerors, imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west. Their peace meant Roman victory and was brought about by strength and dominance rather than co-existence with neighbours.
The Romans were aggressive and ruthless, and during the creation of their empire mil..
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERThe Peaky Blinders as we know them, thanks to the hit TV series, are infused with drama and dread. Fashionably dressed, the charismatic but deeply flawed Shelby family blind enemies by slashing them with the disposable safety razor blades stitched in to the peaks of their flat caps, as they fight bloody gangland wars involving Irish terrorists and the authorities led by a devious Home Secretary, Winston Churchill.But who were the real Peaky Blinders? Did they really ex..
'Burning ice, biting flame; that is how life began'
The extraordinary Scandinavian myth cycle is one of the most enduring, exciting, dramatic and compelling of the world's great stories.
The Penguin Book of the Norse Myths compellingly retells these stories for the modern reader, taking us from the creation of the world through the building of Asgard's Wall to the final end in Ragnarok. You'll discover how Thor got his hammer and how Odin lost his eye, the terrible price of binding th..
This new historical atlas - richly illustrated with photographs, artwork recreations and full-colour maps - explores the world's earliest civilisations from the first farming settlements of Mesopotamia, via Egypt, Greece and Rome, to the civilisations of the Far East, Europe and America. Informatively written, and ideal for both students and the general reader, it plots the rise and fall of empires, the nature of different societies and the evolution of technology...
This new historical atlas - richly illustrated with photographs, artwork recreations and full-colour maps - explores the Middle Ages from the coming of the barbarian invasions in the fourth century to the first voyages to the New World in the sixteenth. Coverage of major events - the Hundred Years' War, the Christian Reconquest of Spain - is supplemented by discussion of such key topics as the medieval economy, the growth of towns and the spread of printing, resulting in a rich and multi-faceted..
Now fully updated to 2009, this acclaimed history of Latin America tells its turbulent story from Columbus to Chavez. Beginning with the Spanish and Portugese conquests of the New World, it takes in centuries of upheaval, revolution and modernization up to the present day, looking in detail at Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Cuba, and gives an overview of the cultural developments that have made Latin America a source of fascination for the world.
'A first-rate work of history ...His coo..
Russia's recent past has encompassed revolution, civil war, mass terror and two world wars, and the country is still undergoing huge change. In his acclaimed history, now updated to 2015, Robert Service provides a superb panoramic viewpoint on Russia, exploring the complex, changing interaction between rulers and ruled from Nicholas II, Lenin and Stalin through to Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin and beyond. This new edition also discusses Russia's unresolved economic and social difficulties and its de..
WINNER OF THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION'S JOHN K. FAIRBANK PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CUNDHILL HISTORY PRIZE 2017
'This is the finest single-volume history of Vietnam in English. It challenges myths, and raises questions about the socialist republic's political future' Guardian
'Powerful and compelling. Vietnam will be of growing importance in the twenty-first-century world, particularly as China and the US rethink their roles in Asia. Christopher Goscha's book is a brilliant accou..
Eight hundred years ago, the Cathars, a group of heretical Christians from all walks of society, high and low, flourished in what is now the Languedoc in Southern France. Their subversive beliefs brought down on them the wrath of Popes and monarchs and provoked a brutal 'Crusade' against them. The final defeat of the Cathars was horrific with mass burnings of men, women and children in the village of Montaillou in the Pyrenees...
The trial of the Knights Templar is one of the most infamous in history. Accused of heresy by the king of France, the Templars were arrested and imprisoned, had their goods seized and their monasteries ransacked. Under brutal interrogation and torture, many made shocking confessions: denial of Christ, desecration of the Cross, sex acts and more.This book follows the everyday reality of the trial, from the early days of scandal and scheming in 1305, via torture, imprisonment and the dissolution o..
A STUNNINGLY ILLUSTRATED BOOK REVEALING THE GREATEST MYTHS, LIES AND BLUNDERS ON MAPS
'Highly recommended' - Andrew Marr
'A spectacular, enjoyable and eye-opening read' - Jonathan Ross
The Phantom Atlas is an atlas of the world not as it ever existed, but as it was thought to be. These marvellous and mysterious phantoms - non-existent islands, invented mountain ranges, mythical civilisations and other fictitious geography - were all at various times presented as facts on maps and atlase..
The New York Times bestseller that tells the story of Britain's greatest and worst dynasty--"a real-life Game of Thrones" (The Wall Street Journal)--by the author of The Templars
The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine..
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. A year later, all parties but the Nazis had been outlawed, freedom of the press was but a memory, and Hitler's dominance seemed complete. Yet over the next few years, an unlikely clutch of conspirators emerged – soldiers, schoolteachers, politicians, diplomats, theologians, even a carpenter – who would try repeatedly to end the Fuhrer's genocidal reign.
Danny Orbach's meticulously researched book tells the story of their noble, ingenious, an..
The unexpected story of an essential 18th and 19th century accessory This fascinating and enlightening study of the tie-on pocket combines materiality and gender to provide new insight into the social history of women's everyday lives-from duchesses and country gentry to prostitutes and washerwomen-and to explore their consumption practices, sociability, mobility, privacy, and identity. A wealth of evidence reveals unexpected facets of the past, bringing women's stories into intimate focus. "Wha..
Adam Zamoyski first wrote his history of Poland two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. This substantially revised and updated edition sets the Soviet era in the context of the rise, fall and remarkable rebirth of an indomitable nation.
In 1797, Russia, Prussia and Austria divided Poland among themselves, rewriting Polish history to show that they had brought much-needed civilisation to a primitive backwater. But the country they wiped off the map had been one of Europe’s largest a..
In The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama took us from the dawn of mankind to the French and American Revolutions. Here, he picks up the thread again in the second instalment of his definitive account of mankind's emergence as a political animal.This is the story of how state, law and democracy developed after these cataclysmic events, how the modern landscape - with its uneasy tension between dictatorships and liberal democracies - evolved and how in the United States and in other dev..
John Julius Norwich expertly examines the history of the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter to the present
Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unquestionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable immorality. One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was e..
On the 500th anniversary of Luther’s rebellion, this spectacular global history traces the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world.
Five hundred years ago Protestant Christianity began with one stubborn monk today, it includes a billion people across the globe.
The upheaval Martin Luther triggered inspired one of the most creative and destructive movements in human history. Protestants is the story of the men and women who made and remade this quarrelsome faith by demanding ..